After arriving home on a Thursday evening a couple of months ago, I learned that three of my daughters – Mary (20), Christine (18), and Teresa (16) – were planning on going to the midnight showing of the newly released movie The Avengers. When I found out about their plans, I announced, “You’re not going tonight. You can wait one more day and go tomorrow at a more reasonable time.”
Have you ever heard of the practice of using canaries in coal mines to alert coal miners of danger? Canaries are small songbirds that were first bred and used as domestic pets in the 17th century. Because they are more sensitive than humans to toxic gases (such as methane and carbon monoxide), canaries were, at one time, routinely used by coal miners as early warning devices that danger was imminent.